SeaPerch began as one project in a book entitled "How to Build an Underwater Robot," by Harry Bohm and Vickie Jensen. There were many projects in the book, and SeaPerch captured just two pages, with a parts list and instructions on how to assemble the vehicle. Years later, Professor Thomas Consi at MIT developed a curriculum around the SeaPerch as a way to grow the Ocean Engineering Program at MIT. Seeing the possibility of using SeaPerch to train teachers, MIT’s Dr. Chryss Chrystostomedes sought funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the MIT Sea Grant office and began to train teachers in the Boston area and beyond. Several years later, The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) had the vision to utilize its resources to manage the program and partnered with The Office of Naval Research (ONR) to take the SeaPerch Program from what was essentially a teacher-training program and develop it into a national K12- STEM Outreach program. Through a grant from ONR, SNAME created a program that could be national in scope, including creating a kit, infrastructure, supporting materials, website, ordering and inventory mechanism, and a network of individuals to help grow the program. The efforts began to take root, the program grew to include almost all 50 states to date, and a national competition, the National SeaPerch Challenge, continues to expand yearly.
Since 2011, SeaPerch program has been managed by RoboNation (The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation - AUVSIF), and continues to expand nationally.
A place for beginners and experts alike to interact with each other and create an environment that promotes engagement and excitement for robotics.
Each year, RoboNation offers a series of educational programs as well as robotics competitions that allow students to apply their STEM education outside the classroom. The experience is ideal preparation for entering the workforce, and many participating students are frequently offered coveted internship and employment opportunities while still in school.
Visit www.robonation.org to learn more